Monday, September 14, 2009

Charles Johnson cites two witnesses: George Archibald and Bill White

LGF's Charles Johnson pursues his idee fixe, for the benefit of those few readers who have yet to be banned. I won't link him, but again he recycles familiar smears against me. Two cases in particular require discussion:

  • George Archibald
A genuinely tragic story. Once a well-known investigative reporter, his career suffered as the result of unfortunate personal problems. I always liked George's energy, enthusiasm and jocular good cheer, and thought of him as a friend.

Nobody explained to me why George resigned from The Washington Times and took a job in an Arizona Republican congressman's office. He reportedly got fired from that position after a few months, and sought to return to his old job at the newspaper, but it had already been filled. George then apparently conceived a vendetta against editor-in-chief Wesley Pruden and managing editor Francis Coombs, whom he blamed for his problems.

When the SPLC and other left-wingers leveled accusations of racism against me, Archibald seized on this as a weapon to use against his enemies, claiming to have heard conversations that never took place, et cetera. Archibald had some friends inside the Washington Times newsroom, and Wes and Fran had a few other enemies there, and this all got whipped up into a sort of souffle of slander. I was, in a manner of speaking, collateral damage in an ill-motivated campaign of defamation against my bosses who, as I have often said before, specifically prohibited me from addressing these accusations.

My August 2007 "blowup" in the newsroom (referenced by Archibald in an old blog post cited at LGF) was one of those typical events in an industry where shouting matches between colleagues are by no means unusual. While I was working on deadline for the next day's paper, a dear friend from the graphics department had the misfortune to ask me -- in a too-insistent manner -- about a feature story for the day-after-tomorrow's paper.

Considering myself badly overburdened and underappreciated (also not uncommon in the newspaper industry), I responded by saying something like, "Well, how about I just resign right now and let them find someone else to do this crappy job?"

My colleague Victor Morton, sitting at the next desk -- who knew my temperament quite well -- said quietly, "Stacy, don't." But I had had more than enough, walked straight to national editor Ken Hanner's office and told him in quite colorful terms exactly what he could do with this crappy job. Then I went directly to the heavy steel door at the exit and kicked it open (frightening a dear friend who happened to be approaching it from the other side). I got in my car and drove home, with no intention of ever returning to the office except to clean out my desk.

Well, I was persuaded to reconsider. Four months later, however, it was announced that Wes Pruden would be replaced by a new editor hired from the Washington Post. It so happened that I had a freelance project that required me to spend 10 days in Africa, and it appeared that at last, it was time to go. So I submitted my resignation with no hard feelings.

As for George Archibald, I am told he recently deleted the personal blog where he had chronicled his various woes, which seemed to involve heavy alcohol consumption. I never wished to be George's enemy and would regret his foolish self-destruction even if he hadn't chosen maliciously to defame me, Wes, Fran, or other of our colleagues at the Times.
  • Bill White
Also a tragic case, perhaps all the more so as Bill refused to heed my advice against the disastrous course of action that he unwisely pursued.

When I first had contact with Bill, he was one of those third-party local-gadfly types in Montgomery County, Maryland, an affluent D.C. suburb. Bill differed from the usual sort of gadfly in that he was (a) quite young, then still in his 20s, and (b) extremely intelligent. I am sure that there are school records documenting Bill's IQ as over 140. He had read extensively in history and philosophy, and could discuss these subjects with impressive facility.

Bill was something of an Internet pioneer, serving as Web master for his own "Utopian Anarchist Party" (which later became the oxymoronically named "Libertarian Socialist Party"). I first encountered Bill after someone called my attention to his reaction to the Columbine massacre:
The Washington Times
April 30, 1999, Page A10

Anarchist Web site salutes 2 killers
By Robert Stacy McCain

An anarchist party based in Montgomery County operates an Internet site that urges the abolition of government and praises the "courage" of two Columbine High School killers.
On the day of the massacre, Utopian Anarchist Party spokesman Bill White posted a "salute" to teen-age gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold as "two young men who had the courage to strike back against the system, even if their strike back was somewhat misguided in its aims."
The UAP's World Wide Web site -- -- describes the party as "militant anti-government anarchism at its best" and includes such recipes for revolution as a School Stopper's Textbook, first published by the Youth International Party (Yippies) in the 1960s.
Politically, the UAP is eclectic. The party's Web site denounces liberals and conservatives alike, condemning the anti-bigotry efforts of the Simon Wiesenthal Center as "progressive fascism" and announcing dates for communist May Day parades.
"The government is a tool of the ruling class, used for the systematic exploitation of the masses," Mr. White, 21, a 1994 graduate of Bethesda's Walt Whitman High School, said in a telephone interview with The Washington Times.
He said he began his drift toward anarchism at age 13, when he began reading such works at the Communist Manifesto.
He "started to form mildly socialist ideas," Mr. White said, and school officials "tried to shut down my free speech" when he tried to express those views.
The UAP argues for the abolition of public schools which are "a tool the ruling class uses to indoctrinate the young," Mr. White said, "and, in the last election, 5 percent of the Montgomery County electorate agreed with me."
Last year, Mr. White ran on the UAP ticket and got 4,146 votes in the September primary for an at-large seat on the county Board of Education. . . .
"I don't believe people should go around killing people at random," Mr. White said, but stressed that many students feel oppressed by public schools and reacted to the Columbine massacre accordingly.
"What happened in Colorado was viewed by a lot of young people as empowering. . . . They felt that 'we can fight back and we can win,' " the UAP spokesman said. "That's why there have been so many copycats and bomb threats" since the April 20 massacre.
On the UAP Web site, Mr. White called the Colorado shootings an expression of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's concept of the "will to power." Mr. White also wrote: "Had this shooting occurred outside a police station, or outside the NATO conference, or outside the White House, it would have been much more effective."
Mr. White, who condemns President Clinton as "corrupt," said his beliefs have earned him and the UAP some important enemies. He proudly mentions that conservative talk-show host Michael Reagan recently called him "a threat to America."
Michael Reagan seems to have been onto something. White's praise of Harris and Klebold was by any reckoning the most bizarre possible response to the Columbine killings, about which I wrote or edited several other stories, including a feature about Cassie Bernall, the 17-year-old Christian girl who was one of the most notable victims of that infamous crime.

The bizarre nature of White's response was intriguing to me as a journalist. One of my specialties at The Washington Times was covering the political and cultural fringe -- for example, I wrote the newspaper's obituary of former Communist Party USA chairman Gus Hall.

The Joy of Kook Politics
Regular mainstream politics, where phony Democratic hacks do battle with sold-out Republican frauds, tends to become tedious, and yet there are scores of reporters in Washington who masochistically crave the privilege of covering such pointless snoozefests. The reporter who can locate something newsworthy on the oft-ignored fringe of the political spectrum has got a much better chance of scoring an exclusive -- and, frankly, it's a lot more interesting.

Also, I like crazy people. God help me, but I do love a kook. (Ask any journalist who covered last year's Libertarian Party convention what a target-rich environment that was for kook-lovers.) As long as they are not actually dangerous, the wackos and zanies are so much more fun than the uptight Republicans and dishonest Democrats one usually meets in Washington.

And, as I said, Bill White's extreme intelligence meant he was no ordinary wacko. He was always smarter than the rest.

Bill seems to have been an autodidact and, when he wasn't in full-on fringe-gadfly mode, could discuss political theory in an articulate (although always quite radical) manner. He had inherited money or won a lawsuit -- depending on which rumors you believed -- and this provided him a financial independence that relieved him of any compulsion to seek an ordinary career. He made a full-time hobby of political activism on the fringe.

For this reason, Bill actually proved quite useful as a source. Remember, this was 1999, when "anti-globalization" was a pet cause of the Left. There were big protests in D.C. against the IMF and WTO, and Bill's wide acquaintance with various local left-wingers -- socialists, anarchists, etc. -- enabled him to give me occasional tips about what was actually going on behind the scenes of that movement.

Recent revelations about law-enforcement surveillance of left-wing groups were no revelation to me: Bill told me all about that stuff, including the presence within the protest planning meetings of agents provocateurs -- undercover cops whose job was to entice unsuspecting radicals into conspiring to commit criminal acts that would justify their arrest. (This tactic is actually quite common. If anyone remembers the once-famous Ruby Ridge seige in Idaho, Randy Weaver was targeted after an undercover informant entrapped Weaver by persuading him to saw-off a shotgun shorter than the federal legal limit.)

From One Fringe to Another
As 1999 gave way to 2000, Bill White gave me tips about the (ultimately successful) effort by Pat Buchanan to win the presidential nomination of Ross Perot's old Reform Party. Bill knew people who were involved in that operation, and he tipped me to what was going on behind the scenes. Basically, the Reform Party had a wide-open delegate-selection process, and Buchanan's supporters were quite shrewdly opportunistic in exploiting this vulnerability.

It was subsequent to that -- in late 2000, as I recall -- that Bill White began to tell me about goings-on within neo-Nazi William Pierce's National Alliance. Pierce was in his late 60s, ill and increasingly feeble (he finally died in 2002), and there was some infighting over who would succeed him as leader of what was then the largest organization of its kind.

This was occurring, understand, while I was deeply involved in editing and writing regular news. Mainstream politics was unsually interesting in 2000. There was the Republican primary battle between George W. Bush and John McCain, followed by a see-saw general-election campaign that culminated in the deadlocked presidential election and the long Florida recount. Meanwhile, however, it seemed that the same brilliant gadfly who had once given me inside tips about anti-globalization radicals was now drifting into the orbit of neo-Nazis.

This was nearly a decade ago, and the timeline is quite fuzzy now, but I remember in particular one night (was it in 2002?) when I met Bill White at the Dubliner bar near Union Station. During that meeting, he made repeated references to his conspiratorial anti-Semitic beliefs, and I tried to tell him, in effect, "Don't go there." But he was determined to do so, and clearly was not interested in being persuaded to the contrary.

Bill stayed in touch for a while by e-mail and occasional phone calls. He went off my radar until, one day, I saw him on TV at some kind of Nazi rally in a brownshirt uniform, doing all the Sieg-Heil stuff. He eventually became entangled in legal trouble and, among other things, appears to have harassed Charles Johnson back when LGF was a conservative blog.

Many Questions, Few Answers
What happened to Bill White? I've thought about that a lot. The best explanation I can offer is that he very much wanted to be recognized as a leader.

Bill was so much more intelligent than the typical D.C.-area "anarchist" in the late 1990s that he insisted on having his own operation, rather than joining a pre-existing movement led by the usual leftoid idiots.

Then, perhaps because of his disgust with the general stupidity of the "anarchist" Left, and having learned something from watching how the Buchananites beat Perot's naive would-be Reform Party successors in 2000, he got the idea to re-make himself as a neo-Nazi leader, moving into the vacuum created by the illness and death of William Pierce. Also, I recall that Bill became romantically involved with a neo-Nazi chick, and that might have been an influencing factor.

Bill was vastly smarter than your average Sieg-Heiler, because neo-Nazism attracts an intensely stupid variety of white people. The advantage of his keen mind enabled Bill to quickly rise to become a spokesman for the neo-Nazi movement and, according to one recent news article, "commander of the American National Social Worker's Party." He evidently decided to be the Big Smart Fish in a small pond full of morons -- an unworthy ambition for someone blessed with both intelligence and wealth.

A Google search reveals his "" site was shut down last October by the FBI, and I have no idea of his ultimate fate.

It's tragic, you see? Despite the egregious and bizarre pronouncements of his youthful radicalism, Bill White might have followed the path trod by other young radicals toward a legitimate and reputable engagement with the political mainstream. Hey, if Bill Ayers can become a mainstream figure . . .

You see that it was by no means pre-destined in April 1999, when I first came into contact with Bill White, that he would follow the trajectory he has followed in the past decade. By the same token, when I first met George Archibald in 1997, I hadn't the faintest inkling that, within a few short years this cheerful, friendly man would be sunk into alcoholic despondency, pursuing a vendetta against my bosses by defaming me.

So, too, we look at Charles Johnson and LGF with a sense of tragedy, made more tragic by the knowledge that Johnson's sad decline might have been averted. Who knew, at his zenith of influence in 2004, that a mere five years later LGF would be reduced to an almost invisible shadow of its former glory? Who knows why Charles Johnson has chosen to pursue his self-destructive course?

Some people will not listen to reason, nor consider the possibility that they may be wrong. In their arrogance, they never seek advice, or else ignore helpful advice when it is offered to them. When this path produces predictably negative results, they blame others for their problems -- often those who mean them no harm. They seek out scapegoats and pursue a course of vengeance, allowing selfishness and anger to poison their souls, making enemies of those whom they just as easily could have made friends.

How the mighty have fallen! A warning to others, who might similarly stumble onto the wrong path.

Of these three individuals -- George Archibald, Bill White, and Charles Johnson -- the one who stands out, ironically, is White. Whatever grievous wrongs he has committed, Bill White has never attacked me.

He was always smarter than the rest, as I said.


  1. LGF was a good read back in the day (CBS memogate), but over the years its anti-Christian perspective has made it unreadable.

  2. It seems to me you could have titled this posting More In Sorrow, Than In Anger.

    Well done, Stacy.

  3. This tactic of damnation by association, and screaming racist with no proof, is a discredited tactic which people are beginning to be sickened by.

  4. The Stacy Paradox.
    You are undiluted and outspoken man. That's why we like you.
    But even after reading your post about Chas. - I'm not sure what the big deal is... except that old Chas. was once "somebody," and your right in that he has fallen so far off the radar that I had to severely jar my memory to remember the name of his website.
    The poor guy had guts once, but now he is a marginalized, small time player.
    You could derive some satisfaction from the fact that he is baiting you. He see's that your a force to be reckoned with and he wants a bit of the action - AND, your giving it to him.

    Actually, that is very charitable of you. You have done your good deed, propping up old Chas. Kind of like a web version of "A Weekend at Bernie's."

  5. Think CJ is bitter about not getting respect he wanted from Rathergate? Now he lashes out that he could have been somebody.

  6. But Charles Johnson says you are a bad person, so you must be a bad person. His toady f-buddy Sharmutta seconded. Plus you are from the South.

    Case closed.

  7. Little Green Footballs or Late German Fascists?

    My, my what hateful people are drawn to LGF :0

    Bill C

  8. Thanks, Mr. McCain, for the calm and painstaking historical recap.

    I've felt for a while that we're witnessing a descent into madness by the blogger in question. It's almost too painfully malignant to watch.

  9. I once served on a public commission that included the head of the local NAACP, the head of the local chapter of Club for Growth, a gay activist, *and* a Holocaust denier. By CJ's standards that makes me...exactly what, again?

  10. This is all very interesting and effective, but would you please address the question of the altogether natural revulsion? First, did it happen or was manufactured Signorile? Second, what the heck were you thinking?

  11. I'm impressed with your restraint considering the charge of racism and continued attacks that CJ is leveling at you.

  12. I went to LGF to see what all the hub-bub was about, after reading Dan Riehl.
    What I came across was a load of nonsense about a FIST LOGO that Glenn Beck supposedly lifted from Commies.
    Nonsense, but even if true would be the first time anyone had successfully used a Commie's idea.
    LGF is a kook site.

  13. Charles Johnson must have hidden titanium rods in neck to support that massive supercomputer brain of his. The only thing bigger is his ego.

  14. From where I'm standing, the main problem with Charles Johnson on the right side of the Blogosphere was that he was never really on our side. He was a pro-war liberal/libertarian, not a conservative, and didn't share a lot of the social/fiscal-conservative views so many of us do. It was perhaps inevitable that he would, over time, find our company intolerable, especially as the threat of Islamic terrorism seemed to recede. I'm not surprised that conservatives have found themselves increasingly unhappy with him, and he with them. What surprises me is that it's taken him this long to do an Andrew Sullivan.

  15. Well, dammit stace, if a drunk and a neonazi can't out a conservative journalist, what the hell are they good for?

  16. If it hadn't been for this post, I wouldn't have gone back to see if LGF was still linked on my blog. It it's not!

  17. Thanks for the history lesson. You lead an interesting life.

  18. You said it all.
    LGF 'perhaps' used to be a worthy the time I bothered with it,I couldn't for the life of me figure out why people were bothering with it. I was banned about a week later for "not telling them I had a blog [?]" and for the "vile stuff" written on said blog.
    My latest piece, that was up at that time, was about the beyond obnoxious "sisters of perpetual undulgance" after they had crashed a catholic mass.
    I think Charles isn't being 'straight' with us...if you know what I mean.LOL.

  19. Kate...are you surprised, really?
    Isn't 'petty' actually chuckie's middle name?

  20. Stacy,

    If the Bill White you met in 1999 was "crazy" and a "kook," why did you repeatedly run his stuff on your "Culture Et Cetera" page over the next two years?

    And why did you repeatedly publish his writings on the evils of public schools without mentioning to your readers that he was an anarchist wacko who was pleased by the Columbine killings?

    I looked up his site on You last excerpted his stuff and published his web address in the Washington Times in May of 2001. The May 30 cache of has a "Far Right" discussion forum with pro-Nazi postings. WTF were you doing giving this nut job credibility by using him to fill your news hole?

  21. As is well Known, Charles Johnson hates Muslims and -it is said by some - molests small children. I myself doubt this. but I'd like to hear Charles Johnson defend himself.

    My serious comment is - WHO THE HELL IS CHARLES JOHNSON AND WHY SHOULD I GIVE A DAMN? Is he a well known writer or author? No. Is he a talk show host or political figure? No. Is he funny like IowaHawk or full of brilliant insights on society, politics, or business? No.

    As far as I can understand, all he does is link to other blogs and occasionally write a couple sentences. So again, who gives a damn.

  22. Bravo rcocean. This "CJ" person is a non-entity. Everyone take him off your blogrolls already(and can you do it without a three page entry in the Federal Register?) and just MOVE ON.

    Sheesh. It is like going to a dinner where all the adults re-hash what happened at the high school cotillion.

    We didn't go to your high school, ok? And now that we have all graduated from college and have real jobs, we are getting a bit weary of the HS drama.

    Sorry to sound so cranky, but almost all "my" sites have been spending an inordinate amount of time lately on this person, whoever he is.


  23. Great Post.

    Now if we could just get you to answer your e-mails. ;)


  24. Sorry, but reading incoming e-mail was a job assigned to the blog intern, Myers, who punked out. Allergic to cats, he said, and our family's got more cats than we do kids.

    If anybody knows a good blog intern who will work for free, holler out. Superficial resemblance to Christina Hendricks is preferred, but not necessary. Cat allergy sufferers need not apply.

  25. Wombat Rampant wrote: "What surprises me is that it's taken him this long to do an Andrew Sullivan."

    Hey, if you're going to "do an Andrew Sullivan," you might as well do him nice and slow.


  26. Sorry, I'm only seeing this now (I assume this may have been the time you tried to call me while I was in Canada, Stacy).

    Anyway ... for the record on the matter of which I have direct involvement ... on the day Stacy walked out, there was not a huge and ugly blowup between me and him. Nor, as Media Bistro initially (wrongly) reported, did he and I get in a yelling match.

    The account here Stacy gives is accurate, with the sole elaboration that as he walked away from his desk and toward Ken's office (i.e., away from me), I did raise my voice a little, and sharpened my tone a lot, to say "Stacy, come back ... we can work something out," or words to that effect. I did that not in anger but for exactly the reason Stacy states -- that I knew what was likely to happen given my knowledge of Stacy's temperament and the look on his face.

    Anyone who repeats contrary information is spreading a falsehood.